At every span of life there are changes and alterations. Each moment we are getting older than the moment before. It is extremely beautiful to see these changes such as small baby growing into a child, child to youth etc. However, as we approach 40, most people want to stop / postpone ageing because the changes occurring during aging, although natural, are not pleasant. Holistic approach of Ayurveda is applicable in ageing also.
According to Ayurveda, ageing is a natural process which is inevitable, however one can slow down the ageing process by following the Ayurvedic suggestions explained in ‘Rasayana Tantra’ or ‘Geriatric Medicine’.
Following occur as a consequence of ageing –
• Dhatu kshaya (degeneration of tissues)
• Indriya kshaya (degeneration of senses)
• Balakshaya (deterioration of strength)
• Utsahakshaya (loss of motivation)
• Viryakshaya (decreased libido)
• Vali (wrinkles)
• Palithya(greying of hair)
• Khalithya (baldness)
Various stages of life explained in classical literature of Ayurveda, lifespan is divided into
• Balyaawastha (Childhood) – Up to 16 years of age
• Vivardhamanavastha (Adolescence) – 16 to 20 years of age.
• Yuvanavastha (Youth) – 20 to 30 years of age
• Sampoornavastha (Adulthood) – 30 to 40 years of age
• Parihani (Elderly) – 40 to 60 years of age
• Vriddhavastha (Old age) – 60 + years
Various changes occur in our body during these different stages and the diet and lifestyle adopted during each stage influences the ageing processes profoundly.
What are the changes that occur in the body as we age ?
* There are changes occurring in physiological functions, cognitive functions and external appearance.
* Also there is disability and decline in sensory and motor functions as our body tissues are weakened which makes us more susceptible to several diseases in old age.
Old age can be considered as a natural disease occurring with the passage of time. We cannot escape old age but premature ageing can be prevented and the process of natural ageing can be slowed down. Ill health leads to pathological ageing.
The ageing process is of two types – Natural and Premature.
In natural ageing, manifestations of ageing are reflected after the age of 60, if one follows healthy diet and lifestyle for positive health. Chronological and biological changing occur simultaneously in natural ageing that occurs in appropriate time.
In premature ageing, signs manifest before 60 years of age. This is due to various etiological factors that make the aging process rapid. In untimely ageing or early ageing, the biological ageing is more strong and advanced than the chronological ageing.
Reasons for premature ageing in present day – Excess consumption of junk foods, carbonated drinks, processed food, deep fried food, over use of salty, sour and spicy tastes, diet that is not conducive to the season or environment or Prakriti of a person compromises the digestive function and accelerates endotoxin formation in the body and accelerate premature ageing. Also family stress, financial and occupational stress, use of electronic gadgets, environmental pollution, sedentary lifestyle, strenuous work contribute to premature ageing.
How can Rasayana help?
Progressive degeneration of the different tissues, decline in functioning of the sense organs, physical strength, memory and cognitive functions can be noticed in old age. As immunity also decreases the body’s disease resistance powder diminishes, hence the person is susceptible to various health issues in old age. Although improved technology and medical services have increased the lifespan of people, the quality of life becomes affected. Thus Ayurveda rejuvenation Ayurveda has prescribed a specific regimen which primarily includes balanced diet, healthy lifestyle and intake of Rasayana herbs for healthy ageing and improved quality of life and longevity. A wide range of therapeutic drugs comes under the category of Rasayana (Brahmi, Ashwagandha, Amalaki, Guduchi, Mandukaparni, etc.) which acts as a restorative of physical and mental strength. As health and longevity depend upon genetic & environmental factors, healthy metabolism and immune system, the judicious use of Rasayana explained in Ayurveda helps one attain long life and graceful ageing. Our aim should be to become “old and wise” and not “old and senile”. We can avoid the rapid degenerative changes of body by living according to our Prakriti (the basic constitution) and according to the rhythm of time and place. Thus, Ayurveda teaches us the importance to have a dimensional approach to keep good health and become a healthy, radiating and beautiful old person.
Chywanaprash, Rasayan Yog, Rasayanprash are some of our herbal Rasayana formulations. These Rasayana formulations help the body combat diseases and age-related cognitive decline.